I love Q-Tips. There is a reason that I purchase only Q-Tips. I do find an enormous difference between fakes and the real thing. Q-Tips have never let me down until now.
The following is what I wrote to the Q-Tip people:
I have found that my latest batch of Q Tips have left me battling to get the cotton back out of my ear. The cotton is letting loose from the stick and is wanting to unwind in my ear. I keep poking myself in the ear with the stick and happy that the cotton came out, so that I didn't have to go in after it with other means. I was discussing this very problem with a friend who said that she was experiencing the same issue.
For the record, I only purchase Q Tips. I purchase Q Tips because they have had notoriously nice thick cotton ends, good for a variety of uses but WOULD not let loose of their cotton.
Your current manufacturing has slipped below your typical standards.
I am sad. I don't like dirty ears.
Stay tuned as I'm sure that this is a cliff hanger, keeping all of you on the edge of your seat. I've had this in draft, hoping from a response from the Q-Tip people and have heard NOTHING. Caution be used or you may be digging a wad of cotton out of your ear with tweezers. Just think of how much fun the kids would think that was!